Chris Pine, Allison Janney among 2008-09 Ovation nominees [Updated]
Recognizing excellence in Los Angeles-area theater, the L.A. Stage Alliance announced its Ovation Award nominations for the 2008-09 season this evening.
Leading the pack are the El Portal Theatre's revival of "Smokey Joe's Cafe" with 10 nominations; Center Theatre Group's "9 to 5: The Musical" with seven; and Martin McDonagh's "A Skull in Connemara" at Theatre Tribe, also with seven. [Update: A previous version of this post reported that "Smokey Joe's Cafe" received eight nominations. The correct number is 10.]
In all, there are a total of 186 nominations for 66 productions presented by 48 companies, according to the L.A. Stage Alliance.The Ovations, which were first held in 1989, are voted on by L.A. theater professionals who are selected each season by the Ovation Awards Review Committee through an application process.
For best production of a play at a large theater, the nominees are "Farragut North" at the Geffen Playhouse; "Lydia" at the Mark Taper Forum; "The Little Dog Laughed" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; "The Rehearsal" at A Noise Within; and "Two Trains Running" at Ebony Repertory Theatre.
This year marks the debut of a new category: best season, which recognizes companies that have produced shows of consistently high quality throughout the voting season of Sept. 1 through Aug. 31. The nominees for this category are the Fountain Theatre, the Geffen Playhouse, the Rubicon Theatre Company, the Chance Theater and the Troubadour Theater Company.
The Ovation Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place Jan. 11 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.
Keep reading for a list of some of the other major Ovation nominees.
Lead actor in a play
Morlan Higgins ("A Skull in Connemara"); Sam R. Ross ("Breaking the Code"); Chris Pine ("Farragut North"); Sam Anderson ("The Bird and Mr. Banks"); Glynn Turman ("Two Trains Running"); Matt Gottlieb ("Who Lives?"); Joe Spano ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?")
Lead actress in a play
Deidrie Henry ("Coming Home"); Alina Phelan ("Family Planning"); Aria Alpert ("Photograph 51"); Julia Fletcher ("The Letters"); Julie White ("The Little Dog Laughed"); Laurie Metcalf ("Voice Lessons"); Betty Garrett ("Waiting in the Wings")
Playwrighting for an original play
Rajiv Joseph ("Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"); Tim Toyama & Aaron Woolfolk ("Bronzeville"); Carolyn Almos, Matt Almos, Albert Dayan and Jon Beauregard ("Land of the Tigers"); Vince Melocchi ("Lions"); Kevin King ("The Idea Man"); John W. Lowell ("The Letters"); Donald Margulies ("Time Stands Still")
Production of a musical (large theater)
"Alice in One Hit Wonderland 2: Through the Looking Glass"; "As U2 Like it"; "Louis & Keely, Live at the Sahara"; "Smokey Joe's Cafe"; "The Last Five Years"
Book, lyrics, music for an original musical
Dolly Parton & Patricia Resnick ("9 to 5: The Musical"); Erin Kamler ("Divorce! The Musical"); Frank Zappa, Pat Towne & Michael Franco ("Joe's Garage"); Ken Roht & John Ballinger ("Ken Roht's Calendar Girl Competition"); Charles Strouse, Susan Birkenhead & Bob Martin ("Minsky's")
Lead actor in a musical
Hershey Felder ("Beethoven as I Knew Him"); Will Collyer ("BIG: The Musical"); Eric Kunze ("Jesus Christ Superstar"); Chad Borden ("Kiss of the Spider Woman -- The Musical"); Jake Broder ("Louis & Keely, Live at the Sahara"); Christopher Fitzgerald ("Minsky's"); Michael K. Lee ("The Last Five Years")
Lead actress in a musical
Megan Hilty ("9 to 5: The Musical"); Allison Janney ("9 to 5: The Musical"); Vanessa Claire Smith "Louis & Kelly, Live at the Sahara"); Katrina Link ("Lovelace, A Rock Opera"); Leslie Uggams ("Stormy Weather"); Lillias White ("The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Colman"); Jennifer Paz ("The Last Five Years")
A complete list of the nominees will be posted on the L.A. Stage Alliance site.
-- David Ng
Photo: Chris Pine (right) with Chris Noth in "Farragut North" at the Geffen Playhouse. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times